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Games That Get Teens Off Their Phones

Author: Jennifer Kropf
by Jennifer Kropf
Posted: Sep 19, 2022
ice breaker

When was the last time you saw your teenager's face without the glow of their phone? One to three years ago?

Or when was the last time you got more than a grunt as a response to a question? When they were still shorter than you?

Mama, you are not alone! Parenting/teaching/coaching teenagers can be hard. There’s weird smells, new languages and a never ending door slamming. BUT when they do come out of their secret layer (bedroom) and acknowledge your existence (head nod), they are the pleasant, beautiful children you raised and remembered!

So how do you get more of that? Patience and a few fun games to help you! These five ice breaker games are a great resource to use when you’re struggling to connect with your teenager. Perfect for parents, teachers or coaches, these games will get teens off their phones and engaged with you and others!

  1. Two Truths & a Lie

This is a great game for teengages to play when they’re trying to get to know someone better! Each person will state two truths about themselves and one lie. The rest of the group has to guess which one is the lie! They’ll learn some crazy truths about others and have to get creative with their lies.

  1. High & Low

Also named, Mountain & Valley, this ice breaker game is great for the dinner table or small groups wanting to build real connection. Go around the room and tell the best part about your day (high) and the not-so-great part about your day (low). Your teenager will be reminded that most people only show their highlight reel and everyone experiences the ups and downs of life.

Reminder: if you’re a parent playing this game with your teenager, try not to have big reactions to their lows–you want them to feel comfortable sharing with you and not worried how you’ll respond.

For more creative games to get teens off their phones, check these kids ice breaker games for teens.

  1. Would You Rather

A simple game, Would You Rather, requires each player to choose from the two options presented to them. For example, would you rather eat a chocolate covered cricket or a drink from a glass of spoiled milk? A fun way to keep teenagers entertained is to give them crazy options. You’ll start to really see personalities shine by their answers!

  1. Bucket List Sharing

Whether they’ve outwardly shared with you their dreams for the future, I guarantee they have something on their personal bucket list they want to do! Encourage them to share by turning it into a game–have each person share one or two things on their bucket list. This can be something big like going to college or wanting to go abroad. Don’t forget the little things either, learning guitar or a roadtrip with friends is just bucket list worthy! Everyone might be a little surprised by some answers.

  1. Giant Jenga with Questions

Jenga is a great ice breaker game to play if you’re wanting a little more physical interaction because they have to get up and move around. Teens will also forget they’re being vulnerable by answering questions because they’ll be distracted by the risk of knocking the tower down!

For larger groups a giant or lawn Jenga is recommended. Smaller groups could use the classic size.

It’s never easy to get teenagers off their phones and willingly interacting with you or others around them but with these five fun ice breaker games there’s a little more hope in getting it done!

About the Author

Jenn writes at her blog She’s a mom of three looking to learn and grow. Check it out if you love helpful tips on health, family, and personal growth.

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Author: Jennifer Kropf
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Jennifer Kropf

Member since: Dec 17, 2019
Published articles: 90

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